SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL) – (4/11/19) A ruling is expected Thursday on whether the jury pool should be thrown out in the trial of the man accused of killing a Shreveport police officer who was responding to a domestic call.
Jury selection began March 25 in Baton Rouge in the capital murder trial of Grover Cannon, who is accused of fatally shooting Shreveport Police Officer Thomas LaValley in August 2015.
A week into the process, Cannon’s defense team filed a motion to halt it, claiming the lack of 18 to 25-year-olds in the pool of 566 potential jurors violate his constitutional rights to a fair and impartial jury because it was not representative of East Baton Rouge demographics.
Court administrators say a computer glitch has prevented anyone under the age of 26 from being chosen to report for jury duty in the parish since 2011.
The state’s supreme court ordered District Court Judge Ramona Emmanuel pause jury selection and hold Thursday’s hearing.
The jury is coming from East Baton Rouge because Cannon’s defense team successfully argued for a change of venue, citing concerns the January shooting death of Officer Chatéri Payne would prejudice a jury against him. Once selected, the jurors will be brought back to Caddo Parish and sequestered for the remainder of the trial.
Cannon faces the death penalty if convicted.